Severe liver injury result in development of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) and often also in brain edema that is a potentially fatal complication. HE and brain edema are correlated to the level and persistence of hyperammonemia and the presence of systemic inflammation. Treatment of HE and brain edema is based on restoring and keeping normal physiological variables including tonicity, blood gasses, lactate, temperature and vascular resistance by a wide variety of interventions. In addition liver support devices improve the stage of HE, cerebral metabolic rate for oxygen and glucose, and are used either as a bridge to liver transplantation or liver recovery in patients with fulminant hepatic failure and in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure. This short review will mainly focus on the management and efficacy of doing plasma exchange on HE in patients with acute HE.
Metabolic Brain Disease, 2013, Vol 28, Issue 2, p. 333-5